Young Money Record’s Nicki Minaj apologized for using an iconic image of revolutionary human rights leader El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) to promote her new single “Lookin A** N***a”. Hip-Hop activist and 2008 Green Party Vice-Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente swiftly spearheaded a petition urging Minaj to remove the offensive and disrespectful image or face a boycott from consumers. The petition reads:

Let’s stop Nicki Minaj, Young Money and their record labels from dishonoring the life and contributions of one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century.  I am asking anyone who is a lover of HIP HOP culture and who respects Black history to please sign this petition and force Nicki, Young Money and their record labels to take this down immediately. We cannot allow this to happen. As well, please pledge not to buy ANY of their products.

To: Nicki Minaj, Young Money Records

You come from a rich legacy. Without the work and life of Malcolm X, you would not be able to do what you do. Unfortunately you have chosen to disrespect and dishonor the legacy that he left us. Why you choose to do this, we do not know, but we will not allow this disrespect to go unnoticed, unchecked or unchallenged.We demand that you remove the picture of Malcolm X on both ‘Rise of an Empire’ and ‘The Pink Print’ now!

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To all 2450 people that signed the petition thank you!!!!

Yes, Nicki Minaj’s video and album both disrespect our communities our people, the culture of Hip Hop. Unfortunately with the rap industrial complex upon us we should understand by this time in Hip Hop history that this is par for the course. We know that we can not fight these battles all do every day every moment. But can we agree that every day we have to fight some battle?

I try no react to every situation as it regards rap music, and the capitalistic narcissistic aspects of the industry. I am an activist, an organizer and a revolutionary. There are moments that move me, just like there are moments that move others, where I am moved, I am compelled to act.

Yesterday morning it was the post of my comrade Lumumba Bandele alerting me with this cover “art”, I said “Hell no!” not Malcolm X. Some things are just sacred, untouchable, never ever to be disrespected. How much is enough?? We all know what our touchstones are. I used a snow day, a laptop, the wisdom impressed upon on me by Richie Perez, and my unrelenting love for Hip Hop culture to do a very simple thing.

I know those five minutes it took me to fill out a form and press send is not going to help us pop of the revolution but I am fully convinced that when we remain silent, we then consent. We got a small victory yesterday.

In the words of Pete Seager “It’s the little things that we need to do as well” and in the words of Kwame Ture, “Organize, organize, organize!” So salute to my village, tribe, familia, hermano’s y heramana’s. And on this Valentines day, even if you don’t celebrate, love of the revolutionary kind is in the air, go try and grab some of it. Palante!!